FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NAIC Testifies Before Congress on Private Flood Insurance
Miller testifies in support of the Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Jan. 13, 2016) — Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Teresa D. Miller affirmed the association‘s support for the development of a state regulated private flood insurance market during a Congressional hearing before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance. Testifying on behalf of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), Miller, who chairs the NAIC Property and Casualty Insurance (C) Committee, spoke in favor of H.R. 2901, the Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act.
“Facilitating increased private sector involvement in the sale of flood insurance will help promote consumer choice and spur competition,” Miller said. “The legislation will ensure that state insurance regulators have the flexibility to approve private flood insurance coverage that is responsive to the needs of their states and constituents while complying with state regulatory requirements.”
The Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act was introduced to help facilitate the development of the private flood market and address some of the unintended consequences resulting from the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (Biggert-Waters). Provisions of Biggert-Waters have made it more difficult for companies to offer private flood insurance products.
The legislation addresses NAIC concerns with language in Biggert-Waters that empowered federal banking and housing regulators to apply their own requirements related to the financial solvency, strength, or claims-paying ability of private insurance companies from which they will accept private flood insurance.
“This is highly problematic as banking and housing regulators neither have the expertise nor the experience to regulate insurance companies or insurance markets,” Miller said. “It is inappropriate for them to be given the authority to substitute their judgement for those charged under law with regulating insurance products and protecting policyholders.”
H.R. 2901 includes language clarifying that state insurance regulators have the same authority and discretion to regulate private flood insurance as they have to regulate other similar insurance products and markets.
Read Miller‘s submitted testimony.